Helen Bartlett / Family Portraiture

Kensington Family Portrait with Teenagers – Just One


I find I’m photographing more and more teenagers now. When I first started the business the majority of the children I photographed were under five. But, as time has gone on and my little clients have grown up and word has spread about my photography business there are more and more photo shoots with older children. It’s great to have variety in my schedule and it’s wonderful to be photographing a newborn baby one day, a toddler the next and teenagers after that. Different ages are all so interesting to photograph.

Astrid and Clara were an absolute joy to photograph and we had a wonderful time in Kensington Gardens and then back at home. It was such a pleasure to meet such interesting, intelligent and articulate young ladies and I loved chatting as I took their portraits.

Astrid shares my love of books and it was great to get some recommendations. I always find it fascinating to hear what people are reading; sometimes it’s the same books I read at that age and sometimes new things I haven’t heard of. Often if something sounds really good I’ll give it a go, it’s how I discovered the Hunger Games and my personal favourite the wonderful Murder Most Unladylike series (which, if you have girls between about 9 and 14, I highly recommend. Even as an adult they are so good I tend to have them on pre-order when a new book in the series comes out).

I loved hearing about Clara’s gymnastics and was so impressed with her headstands and handstands. I’ve recently taken up Yoga and it has made me realize how hard these are. Photographing Clara cartwheeling across one of Kensington Gardens majestic avenues was a real highpoint of my morning.

The picture I have chosen for today’s just one is a family portrait – Trevor and his beautiful daughters. We had headed to the folly as I thought it’s architecture would be a lovely setting for a few family photographs and it worked brilliantly, I have a lovely selection of images from this spot. My favourite is this one, a posed image that was elevated to something much more special by a moment of spontaneity. So much great photography works like this – an image planned and formulated and then that little unplanned moment where it moves from the script makes the picture, a touch of the hand, a winning smile or, as here the moment Clara turns to give he dad a massive hug. I love the fact that you can really feel the movement, up on one toe, other foot out for balance as Clara swings round and Trevor’s delighted face as he pulls her in close while Astrid stands perfectly, smiling at the camera and balancing the image beautifully.

I love it and I hope you do to, today’s just one from my recent family photography session with teenagers in Kensington, West London.

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